Archive for the tag “Trees”

I have a song for Eurovision (and a secret revealed)

After years mocking the Eurovision Song Contest, the time has arrived to take positive action on the things that I love to hate, be more constructive and spread some love and good vibes in the process. I’m not a hippie, at all, but if we’re gonna tackle the Eurovision we have to also adopt some of its gross cheesiness to be able to subvert it.

So here is my plan and invitation, to you and to the universe.

I come from Malta, an island of 400,000 girls and boys who keep building their houses until there will be no more roads and the only way to get from north to south will be by boat, which is probably for the better given the road rage and the street tragedies that keep happening, only that we might scare off all the fishies that are still alive and we might end up bumping into the million fish farms producing fat sea creatures for Japanese sushi.

So that’s the context. You can imagine that for such an overpopulated ridiculous population (people abroad never get it that being just 400,000 is already of tragic proportions when our island is just as big as the Gaza Strip – where there are 1.6 million people incarcerated by Israel … well I guess that analogy doesn’t help either but look up on google and wikipedia and they’ll explain what population density means etc… that’s not the main point of this message) there is not much happening to give amusing distraction. There is the occasional MP flaunting his secondary school mid term test results to prove that he’s got legitimacy to bring down the government; there is the occasional bishop who dyes his hair while writing his panegyrics against poor IVF babies; there is the occasional freemason judge who believes road rage against gays is an act of survival; there is the occasional construction magnate who has so many politicians in his pocket that he can tell them to fuck off, publicly, and they just smile back at him lovingly… that sort of things.

So you can also understand why the yearly Eurovision Song Festival has become for Malta the annual feast for which the world has to stand still, to listen to our song from sunny Malta (even if it’s always broadcast at night), and give them some of our love, our passion, our dance mutated by the ages and our latest values, moving on with the trends – from tolerance to exalting gays and transvestites; from innocent love to the passion of the single middle aged woman who is emancipated enough to want to fly.

It’s hard to explain when all the outside world looks at it from Terry Wogan’s inimitable lens. I love him, but for the Maltese the Eurovision song is our yearly national anthem, changing according to the latest flagship that will put us on the European stage and beyond. I’ve just learnt on a trip to Bali how much Australians love it too and that the Eurovision would be their one and only reason to want to be part of Europe.

In Malta, the Eurovision song has the sacredness of the best patriots’ national anthem, repeated on every radio station, talked about at the barber shop and at the grocer’s, hummed by the baker and willed by the banker. The progressives sing it at mass, strumming their guitars, the conservatives quip sweet little harmless prudish jokes at cocktail parties and weddings.

For a few years, I’ve hidden under the pseudonym ‘Redato’ (too complicated to explain to the non-Maltese – sorry) and written my own subverted version of the song that ends up making it to the stage of the golden stars. I had my own secret distribution network, sworn to extreme loyalty, and total secrecy, of which I declared them freed of today. They’ve been loyal comrades in this little crusade of ours to put things where they belong – a journey into the absurd taken with lots of seriousness and hash.

This involved journalists, graphic designers, internet wizards, lovers, former convicts, con artists and all the secret groupies that used the best distribution form ever – word of mouth, now extended to email, facebook, twitter, blogs and telepathy. It is thanks to them that Redato became real and the much-expected parallel song in Maltese that copied the official song but with pure Maltese words, coming straight from the heart and the guts, the kind of song you’d want to sing in the shower to lighten your mood before going to your shit job.

The kick of it was mostly that it was in Maltese, because for a while now Malta decided that having a song in English is more “accessible” to the audience out there that for some strange reason still doesn’t get the greatness of our songs, teasing us at best by placing us third, or just giving us a bloody knockout to last place or something. It’s a very cruel love affair for all the Maltese. It’s unfair.

So here’s my decision to act on all this. I have written a song for Eurovision, it’s ready, and I need to get it out. This is a global world, so I need all sorts of helpers from all sides of the world, but we will do this for my little island. Being a Maltese citizen, I will submit it as my country’s entry for the next Eurovision Song Festival. It will have to win the national contest, so I’ll need local logistical support, especially given that I’m at the moment living under blockade elsewhere. We’ll need the obvious: a band that is formed for the occasion, a title, a real fortune teller/astrologist (preferably both) and a wizard. Pompous people are needed for the front line. Groupies welcome as long as they’re not entirely destructive.

Those selected will be sworn to total secrecy. All the public work will be agreed to by the Supreme Command Committee that I’ve set up, to which I report as Second in Command (like Subcomandante Marcos… got it??). My dog Marx is my advisor with some limited executive powers (like deciding on dog food quality, rationing, and the communist curriculum for our new recruits in consultation with me).

Those interested will forfeit any item in their possession to the Supreme Command Committee’s Treasury – this item has to be deemed and proved to be of high emotional relevance to the person submitting it, and will be held by the Treasury for until the project is over. People breaking secrecy will automatically forfeit their item forever, and will be exhibited in the future Museum of Love and Shame, that will also include all the personal items donated lovingly by our secret fans, together with their explanations and all the messages they’d love to show to the universe.

Spies will get caught by our Preventive Dark Arts Team (P-DART) within 24 hours and handed over to Julian Assange for a few sessions of total naked scrutiny in the public realm and permanent shame on Wikileaks, in line with the Secret Global Comradeship Act of 2012 signed by yours truly and organisations and individuals sworn to complete secrecy until directed otherwise.

For the sake of transparency as agreed to in the aforementioned Act, I also hereby declare that at the moment there is only one reader who is my muse, my love and my life, and that the Supreme Command Committee has agreed to my request to extend to her an invitation for lifelong membership, as governed by the Footnotes to the Rules of Memberships in the Past, Present and the Future.

If you’re still reading and somwhat still taking me seriously, you should write to me now, or miss the bus forever. karl.schembri@gmail.com, with EUROSTARS_MALTA_PROJECT in the subject line.

Only those worthy of a reply will get one, at the right time. Those caught informing others that they’ve applied will be publicly named and shamed. By getting in touch with us you are already agreeing to these conditions.

It will be a journey into the absurd taken as seriously as fuck.

Let the mailbox receive you. We’ll fight in the trenches, but we’ll be looking at the golden blue Eurovision stars, making the rainbow look like a cliche of the mediocre.

Yours truly,

Sub-comandante Karlos

Keep the faith.

Hasta la victoria siempre

Victory is neither God’s nor the Devil’s. It belongs to Madness

 

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My next letter

.
My dearest,
my next letter
will carry fragile things
like the last
this time even more fragile
as we’re both wiser in handling them
dry leaves from eternal trees
just waiting for your water
our little vocabulary
and the other one written
by that pretentious linguist
who needs to get laid
so you have a good laugh
an out of print notebook
carrying fanatic verses
without any need for footnotes
a pocket watch made of time
that never expires
that doesn’t play too many funny games
a fountain that whispers
on your birthday
grateful you’re around to make the world crazier
a hand-made tale
that remains a work in slow patient progress
a toy train alarm clock
to wake you up playfully
in our vast sprawling landscapes
when I’m not around
a prayer carrying invocations of prophecies
gossipy questions
pickled in lavender oil
the stain of olives uprooted
by ungrateful self-loathing colonists
my obscure inherited family pen
to help me write my next chapters
while lovingly waiting for yours.

I love you

I love you when you stop to watch old doors
opening them with your gaze
locking others forever.

I love you when you smile just for me
and our mean little universe
nobody else understands.

I love you when you scowl at balloons
get angry at unbreakable tape
flirt with useless lighters.

I love you when you dodge ugly trolls
and get back to me
so we write our own fairy tale.

I love you when you give all your heart
to your wee siblings
mothering your future children in enchanted forests.

I love you when you panic at spiders
and at loud inappropriateness
only to piss yourself laughing later on our balcony.

I love you when you stalk me softly
catching me stalking you too
as if it was a secret.

I love you when you blush once again
caught out humming
like the world wasn’t there.

I love you when you wax lyrical
on dark knights and unbeatable heroes
teasing my insecurities with silliness.

I love you when you embrace trees
seeking their wisdom
their stories, their eternity.

I love you when you dream naked at night
knowing you’re willing
our ancient love and happiness.

I love you when you keep me waiting
making me realise
I also need to prepare.

I love you when you tell me not to worry
taking my paranoid cue
that it’s your turn to reassure me.

I love you when you teach me
that urgence and patience
are twin sisters of love.

I love you when you come to me
bringing with you
all that I have been living for.

I love you when you leave
knowing you will come back
with more.

The dance of Qohelet (2) — Alors on danse by Stromae

The dance of Qohelet

White phosphorus blinding us
spectacular glare
of well thought-out sophistication
shrapnel riding school buses with children
breaking daily routine
to build a new one
no need to wait for New Years’ eve
no need to wait for anything
we’ll French kiss now
break all the rules
spill champagne on fasting hordes
and they might even call us martyrs.

My wish is not a wish
my promise is not a promise
I don’t hope for what I know
for what I’ve seen
in crystal balls, on faded cards
for what happens light years ahead
as predicted by the stars
for what’s been said and rewritten
with the blood of slain prophets
infidel truths
insane delusions for which people were tortured
spat upon
choked in fumes or with cords
don’t run from the light
it was always meant to burn us.

The sun never really bothered rising
nor setting
nor moving at all
it’s been sitting there millennia
like an amused pensioner
at a poetry festival
roaringly laughing at our imbecility
drinking our water
over and over
forcing nations on their knees
sacrificing virgins
for the flood that wipes them out.

Cities become graveyards
cemeteries legitimate targets
musuems turned black markets
love traded on ebay needs upgrading
don’t change your profile yet
just let me stalk you a bit more
just let me like you
we get drunk on broadband nowadays
and we’re still laughing
glaciers will form on deserts
foxes will mate with seals
rain peshing on your side sinks your island
drought on my side leaves me scavenging
among rotting bones and angry scorpions
see how balanced it all is
how it always has been.

You know all this
you do
you will
you’ll finish that which scared us all
you’ll walk along the hidden paths
on maps drawn by old trees
cross the red lines of gullible goblins
redraw the paintings left unfinished
at your childhood home
you’ll play the harp again
entrance pretentious mobs
you’ll write up all the endings
and the middles
and the genesis of our insanity
you’ll laugh just like the sun
you’ll cry enough to flood the nations
you’ll see we were right
all along.

What needed saying has been said
don’t retell old truths and lies
as if they were yours
unless you’re ready
to break all the rules.

The life of trees (2)

DSC_9911

The life of trees

So maybe we’re like trees,
after all,
witnessing centuries
wars, famine, madness
the North Wind and the devastating drought
the cosmic stellar freaks
some capricious god’s mindfucks
absorbing the dung of the earth
and radioactive air
drinking the ever fading sunlight
and water from blood-stained rivers
seeing and waiting
giving whatever’s left to come out of us
a crying sapling
a silent sigh
a fragile flower
dead branches to remind us
that we die a thousand times
with every departing leaf
with every bird that never returns
with every short-lived butterfly
dazzling us with unimaginable colours
always falling for their impossible promises
always falling without showing,
not yet,
we die a thousand times
before our greatest fall
the higher up we go
the more spectacular our demise
like the unshakable cedar
defiant, resisting,
standing up
because we cannot do otherwise
because we die a thousand times
before our spectacular fall
before our centuries’ old wisdom
disperses in a million fragments
to be eaten by worms none the wiser
mixing our remains with decomposing corpses
fossilising our love for future archaeologists
and present-day coal factories
on an ever-shrinking planet
we no longer belong to.

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